The problem with going from West Coast to East Coast for school, and then moving back to the West Coast afterwards, is that all my friends are all far away now. My college buddies are mostly back east, which I can’t afford to visit very often, so we’ve mostly fallen into or respective busy lives and out of touch. Meanwhile, while I was gone my pals from high school drifted off to other cities or states, and I’ve lost touch with them too.
As an introvert with anxiety problems I have a hard time reaching out… But by the time I work myself up to it my attempt tends to be too little too late, and/or they have their own stuff to deal with and don’t stay on top of getting back to me. No judgement, it’s just sad.
Friends have always been difficult for me to keep, for some reason. Until around middle school I had a new best friend each year. My daycare best friend went to a different kindergarten, my first grade best friend skipped ahead a grade the next year, my third grade best friend and I had a falling out, my fourth grade friend moved, and after fifth grade I moved. By the time I tried to reconnect with any of them it was at least high school and we’d grown up too much in the intervening time to be able to say we still knew each other.
Is that very common? Because I also know people who’ve had and still have the same best friend since whenever — anywhere from high school to aged eighteen months. Personally, I can think back to a couple of my lost best friends and acknowledge that I had some confused feelings at the time that I didn’t start trying to examine until college, but that’s not the majority of it. I don’t know what gets in the way, but sometimes it’s just hard to connect with people. Life isn’t a sitcom where you reconnect with some old friends from high school, live together or constantly visit each other, and meet most of your potential love interests at your regular coffee shop where you always hang out, sometimes at the expense of remembering to go to work.
I am working on some personal things that should make reaching out to others easier, though. Finding a new job was a huge confidence boost and now I’m getting out of the apartment more often, interacting with new people more often. Who knows, maybe I will find a group of coffee shop friends someday… Or, considering I live in Northern California, more likely a group of wine bar friends.
The link back to writing: I sometimes have trouble writing scenes with groups of people, and finding the right balance of giving each character a reasonable amount of presence in the scene. It’s a product of not being very good and/or used to and/or particularly comfortable large group interactions in real life. It’s definitely an area that’s crying out for improvement, both personally and as a writer.
Thoughts, comments, and personal anecdotes are welcome.